It is always so encouraging when we find our rhythm and work on our goals consistently, sticking to our outlined routines and ticking off our to-do lists triumphantly—every completed task is accompanied by an indescribable sense of accomplishment that not only increases our determination but also reminds us that we are capable of achieving our goals. Sadly, there comes a moment in our journey where we lose our motivation and find it difficult to stick to our plans—we slowly start to become discouraged and procrastinate because stop believing in the value of our goals and aspirations. In this part of BLQ’s series on A Lifestyle of Continuous Personal Growth, we will be looking at factors that affect your motivation. We will also be suggesting a few ways that you can stay motivated as you work towards the realisation of your goals and pursue a lifestyle of self-improvement.

There is a variety of reasons why a person loses motivation—depression, lack of resources, fatigue etc. It could also be that it’s taking time to see the desired results. The first step to regaining your motivation is to identify the underlying cause; this requires introspection and reflection. Has failure affected your desire to keep going? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Once you know what questions to ask and you start to gain some kind of insight, it will help you figure out the next step.

 

Depression and fatigue incinerate motivation

While life can be incredibly beautiful, it also has its downs; we lose loved ones, get retrenched, become ill and our finances take a knock. Life’s tragedies and losses often lead to depression, which is known to destroy an individual’s motivation to do anything. If depression is affecting your motivation, you need to seek help and change your lifestyle; once that’s been attended to, you can slowly make your way back to your goals—SLOWLY being the operative word. Fatigue is also a common cause of demotivation. You need to learn to listen to your body and make rest a part of your goal-oriented tasks—self-care is the first step to success.

 

You are discouraged because progress is taking time

Anything worth pursuing takes time; we often forget this because we want to see results now. This “slow” progress can be very discouraging; you start to question why you started in the first place and wonder if it’s worth continuing. Remind yourself that you have time; there is no ticking clock. There is no such thing as an overnight success; don’t judge your progress based on what people post on social media—people seldom post about what it took for them to get to where they are. As stated by pastor and bestselling author Stephen Furtick, “Don’t compare other people’s highlight reels to your behind the scenes.” Comparison is the thief of joy and it can make you feel even more discouraged, causing you to lose sight of your own journey.

 

You are low on resources

First and foremost, being low on resources does not mean that it’s time to give up on your goals; it just means that you have to come up with a replenishment plan. For instance, if you have run out of money, consider taking out a loan, saving, finding another stream of income or cutting down on your expenses—there is always a way, you just have to be patient and with yourself and the process. 

 

You lose sight of what you are working towards

There are times when working towards your goals starts to become tedious; you become bored of the routine and the to-do lists—it is at this point that you start to lose sight of the bigger picture and you start to lose motivation. If you have lost sight of why you started working on certain goals, you need to sit with yourself and do a self-audit, as it were. Do you remember why you started working towards a certain goal or decided on a personal journey of change? It’s always a good idea to pause for a moment and remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. After taking that much-needed reflective pause, you may find yourself feeling re-energised.  

 

A lack of motivation can be very frustrating, especially when you are passionate about your goals and are committed to a lifestyle of continuous personal growth. While it is frustrating, a lack of motivation is not insurmountable. With the right tools, attitude and support system, you’ll know what to do when you start losing motivation.